Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Weekend Antique Hunt

My girlfriend and I made our first trip of the season to the Allegan Antique Market. We started out chatting so much we missed our exit and ended up in the next town south, but eventually made it there, a little later than planned and ready to uncover some treasures. I don't remember ever going when it wasn't blazing hot, and today was no exception, as it was sunny and near 90, but it was as crowded as I've ever seen it. Lots of things caught my eye, most of them way out of my meager price range, like this former drafting table. This would be the perfect cutting table for my sewing room, if I could just figure out a way to get it in the door!

I love looking at the eye catching displays. Wouldn't this make a great storage cabinet for those sewing notions or doll supplies? Maybe sitting on that sewing table?

We feasted on Italian sausage sandwiches, battered fried vegetables, and of course, elephant ears The heat didn't seem to affect our appetite. By three o'clock we were tired and hot, and called it a day, even though we didn't make it through the whole thing. One last booth before we ended up at the car and a cooler of cold Diet Cokes, ready for the hopefully shorter ride home.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How's That Sewing Room Coming Along?

Today I decided I finally needed to move the new 6 cube cabinet I put together out of the middle of the living room and into the sewing room. I took the shelf and clothes rod out of the closet so I could fit one more unit in on top of the other two. Then I sorted my overflowing box of fabrics that I didn't have room for. These are fabrics not dedicated to some future project, real or imagined. If you look closely, you can see that there is a little extra space in a couple of the cubes. I'll have to do something about that. ;) For years I bought strictly batiks. Then, when I started making reproduction dolls, I got introduced to repro fabrics. I still haven't figured out what to do with all those batiks.

I also got started on my Gail Wilson Jane Austen doll. Here are the parts drying, after being painted with body color and hair basecoats. They are just about dry enough for the detail painting. Although you can't see it yet, this doll has such a sweet face. I still haven't picked out a fabric for the dress, but I can't wait to tackle the molded straw bonnet.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Quilts From the Ghormley Collection

International Quilt Study Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2008.034.0010

Childhood Treasures: Doll Quilts from the Ghormley Collection is once again going to be on display at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, NE. It will be on exhibit from 8/6/10 - 12/12/10. I missed this last time, and am definitely going to make the trip this fall.

International Quilt Study Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2008.034.0222

Mary Ghormley is a founding member of the Lincoln Quilters Guild, and for forty years she collected doll quilts from all over the United States. Her collection, which she donated to the Museum, consists of over 300 quilts dating from 1800 to 1950.

International Quilt Study Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2008.034.0043

Merikay Waldvogel wrote a book on the collection entitled Childhood Treasures: Quilts by and for Children, which documents some of the quilts, their history, and the story of how they were collected. If you are interested in doll quilts, or antique quilts in general, this is an exhibit you won't want to miss!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sue Spargo's Crimson Tweed

I usually stick with reproduction fabrics and quilts, and more primitive stitcheries, but I just can't pass up Sue Spargo's annual BOM. I have been with her from the beginning, and am on my sixth one. Here is this year's quilt, called Crimson Tweed, a Christmas one on frost grey background fabrics. A couple of the blocks need additional embellishments, but these are the first three, with the fourth on the way. In additional to wool, Sue uses hand-dyed silks and velvets, linen, cotton, and lots of buttons and different fibers, including rick-rack and ribbons. She makes up each month's block as we go along, and her sister Wendy dyes the wools needed for that months block. Each month is a surprise, but I have never been disappointed.

Here is last year's quilt, called Silk Road. Of course, with the purple background, this was one there was no way I was going to pass up! It needs another border yet, but I couldn't wait to start the next one. :) Besides, it requires using the sewing machine, and, as those who know me know, I'm sewing machine challenged.

I have made many of Sue's other patterns, including pin cushions, sewing caddies, and purses. She sells wonderful Genziana wool threads, made to coordinate with her wools, and Tre Stelle cotton threads, which seem even finer than 60w, a dream to sew with. She teaches locally at Smith-Owen Sewing Center every year, and is already booked up to 2012!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stamps to the Rescue

To all the animal lovers out there, the U.S. Postal Service has teamed with Halo Pet Food and Ellen DeGeneres for their new special commemorative stamp campaign, Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet. Halo will donate 1 million meals to shelter pets during the launch of the campaign. The stamps feature 10 cats and dogs that were adopted through animal rescue shelters. Here are just a few of the furry friends featured.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Chance to Feel Better About Your Sewing Room

Well, just a week until Mother's Day. I'm sure many of you are frantically trying to finish those projects for Mom. And speaking of projects and my efforts to clean my sewing room, which is hampering my creativity (or that's my excuse, anyway,) here is a great video I was sent today. It's a tour of Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studio's sewing room I wonder if they were trying to tell me something? Anyway, if you want to feel better about your sewing space, watch this!

My plans for the day are to finish my report on Silk Production and Mills for my local Quilt History Group. I have a couple of articles I found from the mid-1800's with some wonderful etchings. I'll post a couple of them later. And I've almost finished my latest block from Sue Spargo's new BOM, and then it's on to the Gail Wilson Jane Austen Doll, all laid out and ready to go.